Target cuts ties with Deen; drugmaker distances

Jun 27, 2013 by Anne D'innocenzio

(AP)—Paula Deen's merchandise and media empire is fast unraveling.

Retailers Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc. and maker Novo Nordisk became the latest companies to sever ties or distance themselves from celebrity cook Paula Deen as fallout builds from revelations that the Southern celebrity chef used racial slurs in the past.

Target said Thursday that it will phase out its Paula Deen-branded cookware and other items, which were sold on its website and in its stores.

"Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory," said Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman.

Home Depot, which sold Paula Deen-branded cookware and kitchen products only online, said it pulled the products off its website on Wednesday.

Diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk said Thursday it and Deen have "mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now."

The developments are the latest blow to Deen's business.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, said Wednesday that it's also cutting ties with Deen. The world's largest retailer currently carries a variety of products under her moniker, including food items, cookware and health and wellness products, at all of its 4,000 U.S. namesake stores. The retailer began selling her merchandise several years ago. Wal-Mart said it will not place any new orders beyond what's already committed and is working with suppliers to address existing inventories and agreements.

Meanwhile, Paula Deen's name is being stripped from four buffet restaurants owned by Caesars Entertainment. Caesars said Wednesday that its decision to rebrand its restaurants in several U.S. states was a mutual one with Deen.

Last week, the Food Network said that it would not renew the celebrity cook's contract. And on Monday, pork producer Smithfield Foods said it was dropping her as a spokeswoman. Smithfield sold Paula Deen-branded hams in addition to featuring her as a spokeswoman.

Amid the losses, book-buyers are standing by Deen.

As of Thursday morning, "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Recipes, All Lightened Up," ranked No. 1 on Amazon.com. The book is scheduled for October. Another Deen book, "Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible," was at No. 13. Several other Deen books were out of stock.

Deen appeared in a "Today" show interview Wednesday, dissolving into tears and saying that anyone in the audience who's never said anything they've regretted should pick up a rock and throw it at her head.

The chef, who specializes in Southern comfort food, repeated that she's not a racist.

___

AP National Writer Hillel Italie contributed to this report from New York.

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User comments : 7

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Matthewwa25
2 / 5 (4) Jun 27, 2013
For saying a stupid word in private? What kind of country has this become. Freedom of speech is gone.
LagomorphZero
3 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2013
... Science?
Matthewwa25
2 / 5 (4) Jun 27, 2013
Nope,

Hatred against a woman that said something stupid a long time ago. Come on Physics.com stick to science.
JohnGee
1 / 5 (5) Jun 27, 2013
Freedom of speech is gone.
You have a poor understanding of what freedom of speech entails. If she was not free to say what she did, she'd be facing legal repercussions, not professional ones. I'd also be willing to bet there are specific clauses in her contracts that spell out the punishments for this sort of thing.
Moebius
2 / 5 (4) Jun 28, 2013
I'm thinking that those to cast the first stones are those with the most hidden guilt.
geokstr
1 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2013
I'm thinking that those to cast the first stones are those with the most hidden guilt.

Well, Moebius, that's three "5" ratings now I've given you.

Since physorg changed its format, I no longer know how to see the commenters who rated a given comment, but I'll bet you have not returned the favor nor ever will.

So I'm publicly announcing when I five you, because you'll never be able to live it down or regain your street cred with lefties here.

:-)
VendicarE
not rated yet Jun 29, 2013
"So I'm publicly announcing when I five you, because you'll never be able to live it down or regain your street cred with lefties here." - GeokstrTard

ConservaTard no English mutchlie.